Van Graan set to exit Bok set up?

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It appears as if Van Graan is looking for a way out of what is a potentially awkward situation at the Boks, with head coach Allister Coetzee bringing in his long-time assistant from their days at the Stormers in Proudfoot to the national set-up this week.

Van Graan was not a Coetzee appointment, having served the Boks as the forwards and attack coach under Heyneke Meyer's reign. When announcing Proudfoot's arrival, SA Rugby stated that the former Scotland tighthead prop would be responsible for scrummaging, the breakdowns and “all aspects related to contact areas”.

Van Graan, meanwhile, was tasked with looking after the lineout and the attack, the same role which he fulfilled under Meyer.

But now the son of Blue Bulls CEO Barend van Graan may be looking overseas.

The Bath Chronicle newspaper reports that Johann van Graan is being lined up to become the head coach, possibly on an interim basis initially, at Bath - where Springbok flank Francois Louw is the captain.

Bath fired head coach Mike Ford this week, despite Ford and club owner Bruce Craig having met with Van Graan recently.

Van Graan was apparently spotted at Bath's final game of the season against Leicester at their Rec home ground, and was also given a tour of the stadium by Ford and Craig.

The 36-year-old was set to replace Neal Hatley as the scrum coach, with Hatley now part of Eddie Jones' England team management.

But with Ford gone, it could see Van Graan reuniting with Meyer, who has also been named as a strong candidate to take over from Ford in recent weeks.

Meyer has been linked with various British and Japanese clubs since he resigned as Bok coach in December, following South Africa's third-place finish at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Other candidates mentioned for the head coach role at Bath have been Crusaders boss Todd Blackadder, Samoan Pat Lam and Scotland's Gregor Townsend. Van Graan signed a new four-year contract with SA Rugby, so Bath would have to negotiate an early release if they want to sign him. - African News Agency (ANA)

Original source: Van Graan set to exit Bok set up?

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